Port of Antwerp expands its fleet with energy-efficient tugs

Port of Antwerp expands its fleet with energy-efficient tugs

Greening the fleet and making it more sustainable

Port of Antwerp inaugurated three new RSD tugs on 19 April 2021. This expansion forms part of the renewal and greening of the fleet, in which Port of Antwerp is focusing on the introduction of sustainable and energy-efficient vessels.

In 2020, 14,000 seagoing vessels and 57,000 inland navigation craft called at the port of Antwerp. To guide all those vessels safely and smoothly from the locks to their moorings and vice versa, Port of Antwerp carries out 19,000 towing operations behind the locks every year, both on the right and the left bank. In order to bring all those towage tasks to a successful conclusion, Port of Antwerp has 18 operational tugs and 250 colleagues on standby 24/7, 365 days of the year.

In September 2020, Port of Antwerp purchased its first RSD tug from Multraship NV and this was followed by the purchase of two additional vessels. RSD stands for Reversed Stern Drive and means that the tug was designed according to the double-bow principle. This allows it to be used dynamically as a front and rear tug. What is more, the tug is more energy-efficient thanks to its specific design and is equipped with a nitrogen oxide filter to comply with IMO Tier III regulations. The new tugs were designed by the shipbuilder Damen.

Intensive training

In order to prepare the crew and technical staff for the arrival of these new vessels, they received intensive training lasting several months. That training consisted of a nautical part concerning learning to sail with rudder propellers and a technical part concerning knowledge of ship systems on board, maintenance and troubleshooting. This intensive and sustainable training was internally driven and externally facilitated by Multraship NV and Damen.

Greening the fleet and making it more sustainable

Port of Antwerp manages a fleet of 32 vessels, consisting of tugs, dredgers and support vessels. This fleet is responsible for almost 85% of Port of Antwerp's total CO2 emissions. In order to minimise that impact, a multi-year project to renew, green and optimise the fleet was set in motion. In addition to purchasing new tugs, the company is also looking at data in order to improve its processes. One of the ways it is doing this is by collaborating with partners such as Optiport, which developed a tool to optimise the planning of towage tasks, and Cognauship, which will work on the consumption of Port of Antwerp's own tugs.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: "Port of Antwerp aims to be a climate neutral port by 2050. In our role as operator we are investing in this energy transition. The purchase of these vessels is part of the renewal and greening of our fleet, in which we focus on sustainable and energy-efficient vessels."
Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer Port of Antwerp: "Over the past few years, a lot has changed and a lot of hard work has gone into our operational department. The launch of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), new tugboats, soon to be hybrid enforcement vessels, ... These are all strong achievements that we have been able to realise thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of all our colleagues."
Port Alderman Annick De Ridder: “By expanding our fleet, we are continuing our efforts to ensure that our services are operational 100% of the time, while seeking to pave the way towards sustainable shipping. As the Port of Antwerp, we are setting a good example by taking a major step towards making our own tugs greener. In the near future, we will also experiment with tugs powered by renewable methanol and hydrogen.”

 

 

 

About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 231 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143.000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1.600 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management. www.portofantwerp.com  

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerp.com

Port of Antwerp
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium